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Tech’s in the Mail: The Top Five Smart Gadgets to Get With Your Tax Refund: automated door locks, climate, home automation, lighting control, whole home audio, window shades,

Tech’s in the Mail: The Top Five Smart Gadgets to Get With Your Tax Refund

Posted April 15, 2014
By Guest
“In this modern world,” Benjamin Franklin might have said were he alive today, “nothing is certain but tech and taxes.” Indeed, technology helps us figure, file, and - grudgingly - pay our taxes. But technology can make getting a refund quicker and easier, too. If you’re expecting a refund, you might be tempted to use that extra cash to buy a newer model smartphone or tablet. (Yawn…) Here’s a better idea. Rather than swapping one perfectly good device for another slightly newer one, make a genuine upgrade in your life by replacing some of the dumb items in your home with smart devices that’ll make your home more convenient, more comfortable, and more fun to live in. Here’s a quick rundown of five of the top smart-tech home improvements you should consider buying with your tax refund (or any other money, for that matter).

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Designer Insights: How Home Automation Can Benefit the Interior Designer: home automation, home control, interior design, smart home,

Designer Insights: How Home Automation Can Benefit the Interior Designer

Posted April 14, 2014
By Crystal Watts
Q. When starting a new design project, to what extent should designers consider home automation? A. Professional designers take great pride in the aesthetics that make up a beautiful home. So it is really important that they take into consideration home automation to avoid the use of clunky electronic devices and wall clutter. Many designers may not be aware of what options are available, but home automation is really something that could improve their design process...

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How Smart Is Your Home?: home automation, hvac, lighting control, security, smart home,

How Smart Is Your Home?

Posted April 10, 2014
By Lisa Harmer
That’s the question the popular review site Angie’s List asked in a recent article about the proliferation of smart home technology. The answer? Your home can be as smart as you want it to be, and if you want to keep up with the Joneses (or the Jetsons), you should start considering automation technology as a “must-have” for your home... Angie’s List notes that industry leaders are saying that now is the time to get on the home automation bandwagon. “There is massive interest in home automation,” says Dave Pedigo, senior director of learning and emerging trends for the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association, based in Indianapolis. “We are at the tipping point for the automated home, and that growth over the next decade will be exponentially larger year over year.”

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TopGolf - Where it's Legal to Drink & Drive.: automation, commercial, project inspiration, smart business, sports bar,

TopGolf - Where it's Legal to Drink & Drive.

Posted April 3, 2014
By Crystal Watts
...Every driving station is outfitted with two televisions, one of which will display any channel of choice and the other displays players' scores. This set up ensures you get the best of both worlds—keeping an eye on that important game while playing a bit of it yourself with friends. All in all, TopGolf houses 240 televisions, all of which can be turned on easily and quickly with an iPad and remotely switched from channel-to-channel individually or all at once. The Control4 system is so easy for the staff to use—and only took about a half hour to train them to operate the entire facility—that it allows them to focus on the day-to-day operations while keeping up the excitement for players and guests...

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Home Technology Helping to Break the Barriers of Autism: autism, family, kids, power and possibility, technology,

Home Technology Helping to Break the Barriers of Autism

Posted April 2, 2014
By Crystal Watts
It's not uncommon for young children to fight scheduled routines. They may throw a brief temper tantrum to try to get out of a nap, or push back on eating dinner because they'd rather play with their toys. However, for children with autism, routines, schedules and rituals are incredibly important. In fact, they are a necessity. If an abrupt change occurs in a normal day-to-day agenda, it can result in major meltdowns and huge setbacks for the child. Not to mention how challenging it is for the people who love them the most...

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Lighting—An Important Component to a Home Theater Experience: home automation, home theater, lighting control,

Lighting—An Important Component to a Home Theater Experience

Posted April 1, 2014
By Guest
A home theater conjures thoughts of a dark, secluded space where the screen is the only bright object in the room. While movies always look best in the dark, lights can still play a dramatic role in the performance of your home theater. Lighting that fades out at showtime is only the start of what’s possible when you tie the fixtures to a professionally installed and customized home automation system.

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Out Of This League: An Incredible Cubs Man Cave: audio/video, home automation, man cave, sports bar, video distribution,

Out Of This League: An Incredible Cubs Man Cave

Posted March 28, 2014
By Crystal Watts
With Major League Baseball beginning this weekend, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to share one of the coolest man caves we've seen. This ultimate Chicago Cubs fan, Stewart McVicar, was out to play some serious ball when he designed his in-home sports bar, fully outfitted with a Control4 home automation system, a round bar with a video wall, beers on tap, a sweet game room, and even a urinal with an eye-level television so you don't miss a minute of the action.

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The Internet of Things & The Connected Home: connected home, home automation, internet of things, smart home,

The Internet of Things & The Connected Home

Posted March 27, 2014
By Lisa Harmer
The term “Internet of Things” or “IoT” for short has been in use since approximately 2009 as a conceptualization of the possibilities that the Internet could deliver as connectivity increased. Five years later, the Internet of Things is rapidly becoming part of our everyday language, behavior and consciousness. The concept of the Internet of Things can be a little hard to wrap your head around. It’s not just communication of data from PCs to mobile devices. A recent research report from Stifel takes almost 70 pages to define and describe IoT, everything from wearables like Google Glass and Nike fitness monitors, and automotive technology to SAAS applications like Salesforce.com and network storage services that leverage the cloud.

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That's One Hot Rack!: equipment, forge, media distribution, rack,

That's One Hot Rack!

Posted March 26, 2014
By Tyler Reed
Several months ago, a colleague of mine wrote a blog post about the benefits of housing all of your AV and networking gear in a rack. Recently, I had started to have some issues with the AV equipment in my home overheating, but I still hadn’t really ever considered purchasing a rack. That is, until I read his blog post. I realized that putting a rack in my home would likely be the solution to my equipment overheating.

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CBS New York: A Look Inside The New ‘Smart Home’: control4 dealers, home automation, news, smart home,

CBS New York: A Look Inside The New ‘Smart Home’

Posted March 19, 2014
By Crystal Watts
"It's one app that controls the entire house," says Brad Thurman, who chose Control4 home automation to control the security, lighting, television and audio within his home. Control4 dealer, Panos Anassis with AVI (Audio Video Invasion) did the installation on this great project and is featured in this segment from CBS New York titled "A Look Inside The New ‘Smart Home’."

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The Ultimate Innovative Smart Home: audio/video, automated piano, home automation, security, smart lighting,

The Ultimate Innovative Smart Home

Posted March 18, 2014
By Lisa Harmer
When I imagine my dream house, it not only has an amazing gourmet kitchen, a lovely patio and backyard retreat to escape to, plenty of room for my kids and all their stuff, a personal gym, room for all of my husband’s “toys,” and of course showroom quality furnishings, fixtures and flooring. But it also has to have the latest technology and smart home features to really fit my definition of “dream living.”

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Going Mad for March [INFOGRAPHIC]: for fun, infographic, matrix switch, media distribution, sports, sports bar, video distribution,

Going Mad for March [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted March 14, 2014
By Tyler Reed
...This will be the first year that I won’t have to go to a sports bar to get the ultimate watching experience that I crave, which consists of all live games playing simultaneously during that first weekend. The Control4 HDMI Matrix Switch I installed in my home several months ago will allow me to take all satellite sources and put them on my video wall so that I can enjoy that unique sports bar experience in the comfort of my home. No need to change out of my sweatpants to watch the games...

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Sci-Fi Technology Has Become a Reality: smart home, smart watch, tablets,

Sci-Fi Technology Has Become a Reality

Posted March 13, 2014
By Guest
It is now 2014 and there are still no flying cars. However, many technologies that were previously only found in science fiction have now become science fact. Amazon's revelation of its proposed Prime Air delivery drone is just the latest futuristic technology that could soon become commonplace. Some of these products are still in development but many, like the Apple iPad, have become smart-household items. Here are just a few of the remarkable technologies that were first featured in sci-fi but are now for real.

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Living the High Life in a Smart Penthouse: audio/video, home theater, penthouse, window shades,

Living the High Life in a Smart Penthouse

Posted March 6, 2014
By Crystal Watts
...This change also means that warmer weather is approaching. And for those lucky enough to live near the beach, you'll be able to soak up the rays for that additional hour. I can think of few places where it might be more enjoyable to spend some of those summer days and nights than this incredible penthouse in Miami, Florida, nestled right at the Atlantic ocean...

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Fully Automated in Fort Wayne: audio/video, comfort, home automation, smart lighting, window shades,

Fully Automated in Fort Wayne

Posted March 3, 2014
By Guest
Feast your eyes on this gorgeous new condo in Fort Wayne, Indiana; it’s hard to imagine anyone ever wanting to leave it. In addition to its pristine-yet-inviting modern design and breathtaking skyline view, it’s an absolute technological wonderland, packed with the latest in luxury AV solutions, like a 65-inch XBR-65X900A 4K Ultra HD display and FMP-X1 Media Player from Sony, a 7.1-channel Focal Electra 1000 Be surround sound system, and a Dish Network Hopper with Sling Whole Home DVR...

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And the Winner is…Wireless Lighting!: awards, electronic house, lighting control, smart lighting,

And the Winner is…Wireless Lighting!

Posted March 3, 2014
By Lisa Harmer
The award-winning Control4 Wireless Lighting family recently added another prestigious industry accolade to its list of wins when it was named the 2014 Electronic House Product of the Year. In its review, Electronic House notes, “Control4 Wireless Lighting meets the needs of most residential and commercial projects worldwide and addresses the evolutionary adoption of LED technologies...

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Gotcha!: ip cameras, remote monitoring, security, smart home,

Gotcha!

Posted February 27, 2014
By Guest
There are a lot of things I love about my Control4 system. The whole-house audio system which pipes rock in the backyard while I’m barbecuing, watching multiple basketball games on the TVs in my den like I’m in my very own sports bar, using one button to turn off all the lights my kids seem physically incapable of shutting off when the leave the house, and so on. But last night, I had one more reason to love my smart home...

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How Control4 Saved My Marriage: ip cameras, safety, smart locks,

How Control4 Saved My Marriage

Posted February 26, 2014
By John Epeneter
...So how did Control4 save the day? With Bond like reflexes, I reached into my dress jacket pocket, pulled out my Android device and fired up the MyHome mobile app. Within seconds, I was automatically connected to my home over 4G service. I handed the phone to my wife, and with a quick tap of her finger, she locked the front door. The door lock icon on my screen confirmed it was locked and we received another confirmation when the sitter called , a bit startled that the door had just locked itself...

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Oscar Extravaganza!: audio/video, for fun, oscars,

Oscar Extravaganza!

Posted February 25, 2014
By Lisa Harmer
We celebrate a few non-traditional holidays in our house like they are Christmas. The Superbowl and the Oscars. As a diehard Broncos fan, the Superbowl this year was devastating, and embarrassing, and something I’d like to forget. We can only hope that the 86th Annual Academy Awards this Sunday turns out better. We have a group of equally nerdy, movie-buff friends who gather for Oscar night every year. We crowd around our 70” Sony TV—usually reserved for Sunday football and weeknight basketball games—to watch from the first red carpet interview to the final sign-off from Ellen.

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Interior Designers and Home Builders Increasingly Rely on Technology Integrators: builders, home automation, interior design,

Interior Designers and Home Builders Increasingly Rely on Technology Integrators

Posted February 25, 2014
By Guest
...This trend has shifted, as home automation becomes more desirable to families rather than an expensive luxury. Interior designers and builders are increasingly turning to professional smart home integrators to help them design and build smart home technology solutions for their customers. According to a recent Better Homes & Gardens real estate survey, “When it comes to the next generation of homeowners, more than half (56%) of Millennials believe home technology capabilities are more important than ‘curb appeal’.”

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Wiring Guide for Smart Home Building: builders, smart homes, wiring guide,

Wiring Guide for Smart Home Building

Posted February 21, 2014
By Lisa Harmer
It’s starting to feel a little spring-like in Utah, and unlike much of the country where major snow and ice storms in December and January have stunted winter home-building efforts, we’re starting to see a lot of new construction. The big building season is starting to heat up, much like the weather, and according to Forbes, “homebuilders should be optimistic” about the overall demand for new homes in 2014 and 2015.

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Step Inside Our Virtual Smart Home: home automation, smart home, virtual home tour,

Step Inside Our Virtual Smart Home

Posted February 20, 2014
By Tyler Reed
Home automation is fun! It really is. It’s exciting to be able to control all of your devices from one interface and be able to program “scenes” that allow you to turn on your TV, lights, and adjust the temperature, all from the push of a single button. But in order to really understand just how cool home automation is, you really must experience it, not just read about it...

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Winter Olympics—Facts & Video Wall [INFOGRAPHIC]: for fun, media distribution, olympics,

Winter Olympics—Facts & Video Wall [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted February 11, 2014
By Tyler Reed
The Winter Olympics are upon us. I love the Olympics and I’ve discovered there is just no point in watching the Olympics casually. Sure I could watch NBC’s nightly recaps, even though Twitter has already announced all the winners and there seems to be more commercials than actual competition. But there are only a few sporting events per year that give us the chance to truly take advantage of a full video wall, allowing you to watch every event as they happen...

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